Some may find this post against their beliefs and I beg forgiveness if my thoughts are offensive to anyone. This is the post of an 81 year old nurse whose grandmother was blind due to measles. As a young girl her life was changed forever. It is evident to me that we have lost many wonderful people in the last few years due to their fear and reluctance to be vaccinated. It hurts to see their lives cut short. Know that I respect that others have a right to their own beliefs.
Today I read the most incredible article in the New York Times. It is about the growth of the anti-vaccination trend. It is titled “The Anti-Vaccine Movement’s New Frontier.” The article shows that those who previously were concerned about vaccines causing autism were started by a English doctor whose study was not scientifically done and studied only 12 children. This number is not a base for conclusions.
Obviously data from this study was disseminated without any scrutiny and was actually funded by a lawyer wanting data for a lawsuit against the vaccine company. Beginning with this misinformation many parents were afraid for their children. The fear of this continues.
There was already a background for fear of vaccines when covid appeared on the horizon and questions about mandates for vaccines brought the whole issue into the political arena. With other issues under debate including gun laws it was easy to link into this and let it be part of human rights.
The problem now is that with many choosing to not be vaccinated or vaccinate their children and politics finding ways to enlarge it all we may be looking at epidemics of diseases we considered controlled by vaccinations. Outbreaks have been reported in recent years with children…some dying. This is a frightening thought. Propaganda is a viable weapon.
Our nation is so divided over many, many issues and we are ripe for believing disinformation of any kind. God help us.
Today one of the posts I read made me think about change. Not just about a change of environment but changes in ourselves. Each and every day we have encounters that change us. It may not be a major change and we may not notice it at all. It is like the “butterfly effect.” Anything that happens causes change.
We can’t be afraid of these changes. Sometimes the change may cause problems because we no longer fit with people that we have connected with over years. Our change may be unacceptable to them and we no longer fit together. The person may be unwilling to accept that your view is different than it used to be. This will be painful.
I have drifted away from friends because we no longer have much in common. Others remain because they have also continued on a journey of growth. This is life. I know that I have changed enormously over my lifetime. I am a different person. I am not static and am still growing. I intend to keep on growing until I am no longer around.
This is just so true for today’s world. People are actually unable to step outside of their beliefs. No conversation about a different idea with change them. They will always find a reason to step back into their original position.
Today something reminded me of this quote from “The Mysterious Benedict Society” originally a book now a series on Disney Plus. “Proof is useless unless it’s proof of something people already want to believe.?
I think this is partly why those who chose not to be vaccinated are so set in their position. My oldest daughter works in a hospital in Georgia. When I spoke with her recently the hospital had 95 patients in with covid. Of that number 2 were vaccinated. I wish more cities would cite those statistics. However, it is possible that nothing will change many opinions.
Today I did the little decorating for Christmas that is possible in our small apartment. It looks nice. I still can’t get my mind around having to find gifts for those I love. I’m just not there yet. This is so unlike me. I usually have things done way in advance but then this has not be a normal year for any of us.
I am hoping that we can look toward Christmas as a new beginning. Some vaccines are due to come out soon (we hope) and maybe we will move into the new year with a new vision.
I need to put up with two or three caterpillars if I want to get to know the butterflies.
The Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I love butterflies. They are so beautiful. But caterpillars….they are not ugly but they do love my parsley. They can strip all the plants in nothing flat. So because I love butterflies I let them knowing what good is to come.
This is true of so many things in life. We do have to work our way through the hard places to get to the good ones. Right now it is hard to see the end of this particular journey…both mine and the world’s. I do know that there is an end and there will be butterflies to come. I am just anxious to get there as everyone is. Hopefully it won’t be too long now before we can be with others and hug. We will be able to go to church and eat inside at a restaurant. The day is coming. Hold on to that.
In the last week a dear dear person I knew died. Her life was everything we are called to be. She had a loving family and loved and cared for them every day of her life. She loved God and often wrote wonderful posts about his love and his care for her. She never lost this nearness to God even in the darkest of times.
Her name was Elaine. I first met Elaine as a Parish Nurse and her health journey would have crushed most of us early on. She was determined to live every moment of her life in spite of all the doctors who couldn’t see her going on for long. She not only went on but went on with joy. She traveled, boated, spent time with family and friends. She shared her joy with everyone and each day was one to be explored and lived. She lived! Each and every day she lived!
Now she is gone but never forgotten. Her example will remain with all of those who knew her and spur us on to live fully every moment. She has transitioned to be with the God she loved and who she knew with her whole being loved her. While those of us here are saying goodbye others are welcoming her home. Good journey Elaine.
The Way of the Three Steps:
A Native American Way to Begin the DayStand on Mother Earth. Face any direction you choose.
(Take one step forward, as you look about, up and down:)
O Great, Holy Spirit, I take this step into the day you have given.
I embrace all I see----the season, the wind, the fragrances, the weather.
Let me always accept the day given with a grateful heart.
(Take another step forward.)
O Spirit of Life, I put my arms around myself, all that I am, all that I can be.
I stand here in my own history, with all my mistakes and victories.
I hold all those I will meet today, in my journeying and in my work.
I try to walk gently on this earth.
Let me walk gently through the lives of my work companions and friends.
Though they make way for my passing, may they spring back, neither broken
(Take another step forward.)
O glorious Spirit of Mystery, I put my arms around you.
I do not know what will happen to me today, but I accept it.
Give me a heart of courage and believing, so I may put my trust in you,
and fear nothing.
From the Plains tribes; Native American Recorded by Jose Hobday. Found in the Book "Woman Prayers" by Mary Ford-Grabowsky
I found this beautiful and compelling. I plan to use it. Hope you enjoyed!
I was reading through my Quote Book (yes, I keep my favorite quotes in a journal) and starte thinking about this one.
In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell
What an amazing and true statement. I feel that we are living that right now. How much of what we hear is truth. Instead it is someone’s version of the truth. There is a big difference between those two things. When I was teaching a high school at the church one of the things I stressed was seeking truth…looking at all sides and any information available and making your own decision. Too little of that is done today. Most of what we hear could actually be classified as rumors.
It is important to teach our young people how to make assessments based on many sources before coming to any conclusion. There are too many talking heads and I am sure that there are no statesmen left…only politicians. That comparison can apply to any source from religion to politics to anything else. We must filter our information.
It is funny the things we remember and the things we don’t. A while back I went to a conference about how we remember things. The speaker, from Emory University, has been doing a study on how accurate our memories are. The study is more complex than just that but this is a big part of it.
They got information from people following a major life event right after it happened and then again a year later. It was amazing how different the accounts were. We can also believe that we have a memory of something that we actually didn’t experience. If we have heard about the event often enough we incorporate it as a memory.
On the opposite side we forget so many things. I have had people come up to me and tell me a whole incident where I helped them in some way and not only do I not remember the event but I don’t remember them. Our memory is a very chancy thing. It is not as accurate as we think.
However, there are some memories, that we will never ever forget. Those are the ones that are so important to us. I will never forget my marriage or the birth of my children. There are other memories that bring me joy and comfort. I am glad I have those.
I was in college when the great era of folk songs came about. I have always loved folk songs. I learned them early from a 4th grade teacher who played an autoharp and taught us to sing many of them. I love that they tell a story about the life of the people during whatever era they lived in.
In the late 1950″s and early 60’s they became popular and so many of the ones I had learned were sung by the famous groups of the day. The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, The Limelighters, Pete Seeger, The Mamas and the Papas…I could go on and on. Many new songs were written about what was going on at the time.
I find it sad that the problems they highlighted in the world are still there. Maybe we should listen to them again and really hear the message.